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What are the benefits of blockchain?

The benefits of blockchain are increasing trust, security and transparency among member organizations by improving the traceability of data shared across a business network, plus delivering cost savings through new efficiencies.

Building trust and boosting the bottom line

Blockchain for business uses a shared and immutable ledger that only members with permission can access. Network members control what information each organization or member can see, and what actions each can take. Blockchain is sometimes called a “trustless” network—not because business partners don’t trust each other, but because they don’t have to.

This trust is built on blockchain’s enhanced security, greater transparency and instant traceability. Beyond matters of trust, blockchain delivers even more business benefits, including the cost savings from increased speed, efficiency and automation. By greatly reducing paperwork and errors, blockchain significantly reduces overhead and transaction costs, and reduces or eliminates the need for third parties or middlemen to verify transactions.

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Five important blockchain benefits
Enhanced security

Your data is sensitive and crucial, and blockchain can significantly change how you view your critical information. By creating a record that can’t be altered and is encrypted end-to-end, the blockchain helps prevent fraud and unauthorized activity.

You can address privacy issues on the blockchain by anonymizing personal data and by using permissions to prevent access. A network of computers, rather than a single server, stores information, making it difficult for hackers to view data.

Go deeper: What is blockchain security?
Greater transparency

Without blockchain, each organization has to keep a separate database. Because blockchain uses a distributed ledger, it records transactions and data identically in multiple locations.

All network participants with permissioned access see the same information at the same time, providing full transparency. All transactions are immutably recorded, and are time- and date-stamped. This capability enables members to view the entire history of a transaction and virtually eliminates any opportunity for fraud.

Instant traceability

Blockchain creates an audit trail that documents the provenance of an asset at every step on its journey. In industries where consumers are concerned about environmental or human rights issues surrounding a product—or an industry troubled by counterfeiting and fraud—this helps provide the proof.

With blockchain, it is possible to share data about provenance directly with customers. Traceability data can also expose weaknesses in any supply chain—where goods might sit on a loading dock awaiting transit.

Increased efficiency and speed

Traditional paper-heavy processes are time-consuming, prone to human error, and often requires third-party mediation. By streamlining these processes with blockchain, you can complete transactions faster and more efficiently.

You can store documentation on the blockchain along with transaction details, eliminating the need to exchange paper. There’s no need to reconcile multiple ledgers, so clearing and settlement can be much faster.


“Smart contracts” can automate transactions, further increasing your efficiency and speeding up the process. After the pre-specified conditions are met, it automatically triggers the next step in the transaction or process.

Smart contracts reduce human intervention and reliance on third parties to verify the fulfillment of the contract terms. In insurance, for example, after a customer has provided all necessary documentation to file a claim, the system automatically settles and pays the claim.

Go deeper: What are smart contracts?
How industries benefit from blockchain
Blockchain benefits in supply chain and food chain

Building trust between trading partners, providing end-to-end visibility, streamlining processes and resolving issues faster with blockchain all add up to stronger, more resilient supply chains and better business relationships. Plus, participants can act sooner in the event of disruptions. In the food industry, blockchain can help ensure food safety and freshness, and reduce waste. In the event of contamination, you can trace the food back to its source in seconds rather than days.

Learn about blockchain for supply chains
Banking and financial industry blockchain benefits

When financial institutions replace old processes and paperwork with blockchain, they realize several benefits. These benefits include removing friction and delays, and increasing operational efficiencies across the industry, including global trade, trade finance, clearing and settlement, consumer banking, lending and other transactions.

Learn about blockchain for financial services
Healthcare blockchain benefits

In an industry troubled by data breaches, blockchain can help healthcare improve security for patient data while making it easier to share records across providers, payers and researchers. Control over access remains in the hands of the patient, increasing trust.

Learn about blockchain in healthcare
Pharmaceutical blockchain benefits

As pharmaceutical products move through the supply chain, the system records every action. The resulting audit trail allows tracing an item from origin to pharmacy or retailer, helping to prevent counterfeiting and enabling manufacturers to locate a recalled product in seconds.

Learn about blockchain in life sciences
Government blockchain benefits

Blockchain can help governments work smarter and innovate faster. Secure sharing of data between citizens and agencies can increase trust while providing an immutable audit trail for regulatory compliance, contract management, identity management and citizen services.

See blockchain at work for government
Insurance blockchain benefits

Insurance companies are using blockchain and smart contracts to automate manual and paper-intensive processes such as underwriting and claims settlement, increasing speed and efficiency, and reducing costs. Blockchain’s faster, verifiable data exchanges help reduce fraud and abuse.

Learn more about blockchain and insurance
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IBM Blockchain Platform

Use an award-winning IBM Blockchain® platform, which provides the most complete set of blockchain software, services, tools and sample code available to run Hyperledger Fabric in a variety of cloud environments.

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Co-create with the industry’s leading blockchain services provider. With our consulting, we can help you build a scalable business network underpinned by the best technology.

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Create a blockchain ecosystem using IBM Blockchain® Transparent Supply to share data with your supply chain partners, for transactions that are more efficient and built on trust.

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Resources What is blockchain?

Learn from the ground-up what blockchain is all about and how it can benefit your organization. At no cost to you, download a copy of IBM’s Blockchain for Dummies guide.

Blockchain for business

Explore how blockchain for business—built on a shared, immutable ledger that is permissioned—can increase efficiency among trusted partners.

Blockchain and smart contracts

Learn how smart contracts work as a powerful component of blockchain networks. By automating business processes, they can remove friction between organizations, reduce operating costs and speed transactions.

Blockchain industry applications

Remove friction, build trust and unlock new value with IBM Blockchain. See how blockchain is solving problems for businesses and industries and get inspired yourself.

Blockchain solutions

Join existing blockchain networks that are transforming industries by bringing revolutionary trust and transparency to supply chains, global trade, international payments, our food supply and much more.

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IBM Sterling Supply Chain Intelligence Suite is an AI-based optimization and automation solution. Designed for organizations struggling to solve supply chain disruptions through traditional transformation, the suite facilitates supply network resiliency and sustainability, increases agility and accelerates time-to-value through actionable insights, smarter workflows and intelligent automation.

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